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Agile Web Development

with Angular is
Learn how to develop an
AngularJS app from scratch
to deploy to production,
using Gulp to automate and
enhance your workflow.

Carlos Azaustre web developer


Agile web development with AngularJS

Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Basic Concepts
i. Structure of a Modern Web Application
ii. Technologies
3. Configuration of the Work Environment
i. Installing Google Chrome
ii. Installing and Configuring Sublime Text or Atom
iii. Installing and Configuring iTerm2
iv. Installing Git
i. Registration on GitHub
ii. Registration on GitLab
v. File and Directory Structure
vi. Automating our Workflow
4. Anatomy of an AngularJS Application
i. HTML5Boilerplate
ii. Installing Dependencies
iii. Application Modules
i. Architecture
ii. Main
iii. Services
iv. Controllers
v. Partial Views
5. Design with CSS Preprocessors
i. Fontawesome
ii. Typographic Fonts
iii. Application Styles
6. Optimizing for Production
i. Template Caching
ii. Concatenation of JS and CSS Files
iii. Production File Server
iv. Reducing CSS Code

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Agile web development with AngularJS

Agile web development with AngularJS


Copyright 2015 Carlos Azaustre. Author & publisher.

Copyright 2015 Erica Huttner for English Translation.

1st Edition (Spanish): August 2014


2nd Edition (Spanish): January 2015
English Edition: March 2015

Published by carlosazaustre.es Books

Biography
Carlos Azaustre (Madrid, 1984) Web developer, focused on the front end, lover
of JavaScript. Various years of experience at private companies, startups and as
a freelancer. Currently working as CTO of the startup Chefly

BSc in Telematics Engineering from Charles III University of Madrid and studies
for the MSc in Web Technologies from the University of Castile-La Mancha
(Spain). Outside of formal education, he loves self-learning using the internet. You
can find his articles and tutorials on his blog carlosazaustre.es

Other recently published books

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Agile web development with AngularJS

Instant Zurb Foundation 4


Get up and running in an instant with Zurb Foundation 4 Framework

ISBN: 9781782164029 (September 2013)


Pages: 56
Language: English
Authors: Jorge Arvalo y Carlos Azaustre
Buy on Amazon

4
Agile web development with AngularJS

2. Basic Concepts

Note
This book is intended for those who have basic knowledge of programming, web
development, JavaScript and are familiar with the Angular.js framework even at a
very basic level.

Note
This book follows the development of an example of a simple web application
(blog), which consumes data from an external API that we will not develop,
therefore it is beyond the scope of this book. Angular.js is much more than this;
this book merely provides the basis for the implementation of scalable and
maintainable web applications and the use of task managers like Gulp.js to be
more agile.

2.1 Structure of a Modern Web Application

A web application, currently, is usually composed of three main parts:

The public or client part, also known as the front end


The server part, known as the back end
The data storage, or database

Basic Concepts 5
Agile web development with AngularJS

The database is responsible for storing all of our applications information. Users, data
related to our application, etc... This database communicates with the back end, which is
responsible for monitoring security, data processing, authorization, etc... Finally the front
end is the part that runs on the end users browser, and is responsible for displaying
information in an appealing manner and communicating with the back end to create and
display data. In a modern web application, communication is achieved asynchronously
with JavaScript (AJAX) using the document format JSON to send and receive data from
the back end through a REST API.

In summary, to create a complete web application we need:

A database so that the information can be stored persistently.


A back end that is responsible for security, authorizations and data processing
through a REST API.
And a front end that lays out the data, presents it and communicates with the API
using AJAX and JSON . In this example we are going to deal with the front end.

2.2 Technologies

Throughout this example we will program what is known as a single page application, a
web application of a single page that does not reload with each server request we make,
since it will communicate asynchronously thanks to JavaScript.

JavaScript was the language used on the web to add effects and animations to pages.
But this language has evolved significantly in the present day, to the point of being taken
to the server with Node.js. Node.js is a programming environment driven by events,
meaning that the user defines the programs flow through the user interface, in this case
the web page. Following a non-blocking input and output model, this allows us to do
asynchronous programming, similar to AJAX in the client JavaScript. At present there
are numerous frameworks that make programming easier on the server-side. The most
known and widespread is Express, although others exist, depending on your needs,
such as: Meteor, Restify, Sails, Koa, Hapi,...

JavaScript has evolved to the point that it is also found in databases, as in the case of
MongoDB, a non-relational database (NoSQL) whose entries are stored as documents
in the BSON format: Binary JSON that allows for the reading and writing of data to be
done very quickly and in an atomic manner, as long as we organize our data model
following a non-relational structure. It is a different way of thinking from the classic SQL.

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Of course JavaScript has also evolved on the front end, where it has always resided,
though its implementation has improved thanks to the emergence of MVC frameworks
that allow us to modularize code and avoid the famous spaghetti code that is generated
when we are not careful. Within this family of frameworks we can find Backbone.js,
Ember.js and the one that we will use which is Angular.js, a project developed at Google
in 2009 that is now achieving widespread popularity.

By combining these technologies in all of the parts that form a web application, the same
programming language (JavaScript) is used throughout the entire technology stack from
beginning to end, which is known as JavaScript end-to-end or also MEAN Stack, which
refers to its use of (M)ongoDB, (E)xpressJS, (A)ngularJS and (N)odeJS.

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Agile web development with AngularJS

3. Configuration of the Work Environment

Our work environment must have the appropriate tools that allow us to be agile and
check errors without wasting time on repetitive tasks.

We need a modern web browser, which supports new standards and includes a console
and development tools. Today, one of those that provides the best results, in terms of
development, is the Google browser, Chrome.

We also need a text editor. There are developers who prefer an IDE like Eclipse,
WebStorm, NetBeans, etc... I personally find myself to be most comfortable with
minimalist editors like Sublime Text or the recent Atom.io.

Although we are front ends and the terminal seems more related to the back end or
server management, we need to use it too. We need one that is simple to use and
efficient. If you have a MacOS X system, I recommend iTerm2.

Note The next steps are for installing the programs on a MacOS X system. For
other operating systems consult the documentation available on their respective
websites.

3.1 Installing Google Chrome

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Go to http://google.com/chrome . Download the file .dmg and open it once it has


downloaded. Drag the Google Chrome application to the applications folder.

To access the development tools. Go to Chromes menu, Development / Developer


View

tools . There you will find the JavaScript console, access to scripts, network tools, etc...

In the Chrome Store there is an extension for Angular, called Batarang. You can
download it from here. This extension allows you to display the scopes and other
special features that are useful when debugging.

3.2 Installing and Configuring Sublime Text or Atom

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You can download SublimeText from its website. Using it is free, but purchasing your
license (to avoid the pop-ups that appear occasionally) costs about $70. Another very
similar editor is Atom created by the developers at GitHub which is what I currently use.
If you want to try more hipster options theres the beta of Chrome Dev Editor.

Atom has many plugins, developed by the Atom team and the community. You can
install them from the menu Atom > Preferences .

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Among the most curious and not very well-known is the terminal plugin, to have a
command terminal in a tab of the editor.

Or a Markdown file viewer to see what youre writing displayed in real-time.

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3.3 Installing and Configuring iTerm2

Download iTerm2 for Mac. Once it is installed, start the application. To get a prompt like

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the one in the image, in which you can see your username, your computer, the current
directory, and even the repository branch youre in, you can download the following
scripts that will configure the terminal like I have mine, by writing the following:

cd ~
curl -O https://raw.githubusercontent.com/carlosazaustre/mac-dev-setup/master/.bash_profile
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/carlosazaustre/mac-dev-setup/master/.bash_prompt
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/carlosazaustre/mac-dev-setup/master/.aliases
$ curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/carlosazaustre/mac-dev-setup/master/.gitconfig

Restart iTerm and it will already be configured for you.

3.4 Installing Git


Git is very important for a developer; it is a way to save versions and changes that we
make in our developments, to collaborate on other free software projects with the
community and gradually create a CV.

You can install Git on your system using on Mac. To install this package
homebrew

manager on Mac, you need to run the following scripts in your terminal:

# Installing homebrew for Mac. The missing package manager for OS X


$ ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/Homebrew/homebrew/go/install)"
$ brew update
$ export PATH="/usr/local/bin:$PATH"

Then we can install Git with:

$ brew install git

When youre done, you can check the version with:

$ git --version
git version 1.8.4

We proceed to configure Git with our username:

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$ git config --global user.name "Carlos Azaustre"


$ git config --global user.email "cazaustre@gmail.com"

Every time we push to a remote repository, it will ask for the name and password of our
account that we will now create.

3.4.1 Registration on GitHub

In addition to being a version control system (or repository) on the cloud, GitHub is also
a social network for developers, where communities are formed around Open Source
projects. If you are a developer and you dont have a GitHub account, Im sorry to say
that you dont exist. Create your GitHub account today and start to publish your open
projects. Their website is github.com

3.4.2 Registration on GitLab


If, however, you want to use the cloud for your private repositories, you have the option
of GitLab, which gives you unlimited repositories and also, due to being Open Source,

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the option of installing it on your own server and therefore having more control over it.

3.5 File and Directory Structure


To begin developing our front end project, we are going to structure the files in the
following manner:

project/
app/
dist/
package.json
bower.json
README.md
.gitignore
.jshintrc
.editorconfig

Later we will be adding more files and subdirectories, but to start this will be our
structure.

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project is the root folder of our web project and we have 2 subdirectories below it.

app contains all of the complete source code of our web application, without
minification or optimization, only the development code. And in dist we have the
entire project minified and optimized in order to be deployed in production.

package.jsoncontains our project information as well as the name and versions of


the dependencies that we will use for development.

bower.json is similar to package.json for managing the dependencies that we will


use in the front end, such as Angular libraries, CSS frameworks, etc...

README.md is the file that we use to provide information about the application that
we are developing and as project documentation.

.gitignoretells Git which files we dont want to be uploaded to the repository (for
example, passwords, configuration files, etc.).

.editorconfig allows us to configure our text editor so that all of the developers on
the same project, who use it, have the same spacing, tabbing, etc. in the code.

.jshintrc is a JSON file that allows us to check errors in the code as well as in the
syntax, use of variables, or style in our JavaScript code as we save the files.
Combined with a task manager, like Gulp, which we will use later, it allows the agile
development of our projects.

.editorconfig
This is the content that we will use, which you can adapt to your preferences:

root = true

[*]
indent_style = space
indent_size = 2
end_of_line = lf
charset = utf-8
trim_trailing_whitespace = true

insert_final_newline = true

[*.md]
trim_trailing_whitespace = false
indent_style = tab

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In this file we are indicating that we want the indent to be created with spaces instead of
tabs. The size of the tab is 2 spaces. The end of the line should be marked as LF . The
character encoding to use is UTF-8 . And for .md files such as README.md the
indentation is with tabs.

You can consult the rest of the properties to configure in the documentation on their
website: http://editorconfig.org/ and also download the plugin for your favorite text editor.

.jshintrc
This is the content of our JSHint file. You can see properties to add on the web page
with their documentation: http://www.jshint.com/docs/options/:

{
"node": true,
"browser": true,
"esnext": true,
"bitwise": true,
"camelcase": true,
"curly": true,
"eqeqeq": true,
"immed": true,
"indent": 4,
"latedef": true,
"newcap": true,
"noarg": true,
"quotmark": "single",
"undef": true,
"unused": true,
"strict": true,
"trailing": true,
"smarttabs": true,
"jquery": true,
"globals": {
"angular": false
}
}

package.json
This is a JSON file which is where we include all of the information concerning our
project. You can add numerous fields. You can see which fields to add in the
documentation on the following web page:

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https://www.npmjs.org/doc/files/package.json.html. For this books example, this is the


content that we have:

{
"name": "angularapp-gulp-boilerplate",
"version": "0.0.1",
"description": "Ejemplo de desarrollo de aplicacin web con AngularJS",
"bugs": {
"url": "https://github.com/carlosazaustre/angularapp-gulp-boilerplate/issues",
"email": "cazaustre@gmail.com"

},
"license": "MIT",
"author":
"repository":
"Carlos
{ Azaustre <cazaustre@gmail.com> - http://carlosazaustre.es",

"type": "git",
},"url": "https://github.com/carlosazaustre/angularapp-gulp-boilerplate"

"dependencies": {},
"devDependencies": {}
}

We will fill in the devDependencies object each time we install a new package via npm

from the terminal.

bower.json
As we said earlier, it is similar to package.json but for the dependencies and libraries we
will use for the front end. The content of this file will be the following:

{
"name": "angularapp-gulp-boilerplate",
"version": "0.0.1",
"description": "Example of a web application with JavaScript",
"dependencies": {}
}

We will fill in the dependencies object each time we install a new dependency via bower

from the terminal.

3.6 Automating our Workflow


First of all, we must install Node.js. Although this is a front end project and we are not

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going to develop the back end (we will use a fake back end), we need Node.js in order to
install Bower, Gulp and run the tasks that we specify in Gulpfile.js .

To install Node you can go to their website [http://nodejs.org/downloads] or if you have a


Mac, you can do it from the terminal with homebrew like we did with git :

# Install NodeJS from Homebrew


$ brew install node
$ node -v
v0.10.26
$ npm -v
1.4.3

With Node.js installed, we proceed to install the following dependencies, globally (using
the flag -g ) that we will use throughout our project. After being globally installed, we
can run the commands from any directory and in any other project:

$ npm install -g gulp


$ npm install -g bower

Gulp is a task launcher that runs under Node.js, allowing us to automate tasks that we
do frequently. Until now the best known manager was Grunt but the simplicity and speed
that Gulp offers has made its use spread to many projects. Gulp has a large community
and plugins for anything that comes to mind. We proceed then to install the
dependencies and plugins that we are going to use locally in our project. In this case we
must be in the root directory of our application and write the following:

$ npm install --save-dev gulp


$ npm install --save-dev gulp-connect
$ npm install --save-dev connect-history-api-fallback
$ npm install --save-dev gulp-jshint
$ npm install --save-dev gulp-useref
$ npm install --save-dev gulp-if
gulp-uglify

$ npm install --save-dev gulp-stylus


gulp-minify-css

$ npm install --save-dev nib

These dependencies will automate the JavaScript code correction, the minification of the
CSS, the creation of a web development server in order to see the changes that we

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make in the code in real-time in the browser, etc... We will see each package in detail
while we move forward.

If we look closely, our package.json has changed, and the devDependencies object now
looks like this:

"devDependencies": {
"gulp": "^3.8.6",
"gulp-connect": "^2.0.6",
"connect-history-api-fallback": "0.0.4",
"gulp-jshint": "^1.8.0",
"gulp-useref": "^0.6.0",
"gulp-if": "^1.2.4",
"gulp-uglify": "^0.3.1",
"gulp-minify-css": "^0.3.7",
"gulp-stylus": "^1.3.0",
"nib": "^1.0.3"
}

Dependencies along with their version number have been added to the file
automatically, thanks to the flag --save and with -dev in the object in question.

We are going to create a Gulpfile.js file in the root directory of our project, where we
are going to specify some tasks to begin to streamline our life:

Gulpfile.js

var gulp = require('gulp'),


connect = require('gulp-connect'),
historyApiFallback = require('connect-history-api-fallback');

// Development web server


gulp.task('server', function() {
connect.server({
root: './app',

hostname: '0.0.0.0',
port: 8080,
livereload: true,
middleware: function(connect, opt) {
return [ historyApiFallback ];
}
});
});

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This task takes the content from the directory and shows it as if it were a web
app

server, at the address http://localhost:8080 , http://127.0.0.1:8080 or


http://0.0.0.0:8080 . Entering the hostname 0.0.0.0 gets us the livereload , which is
what allows us to see the changes we make in real-time, visible from any device
connected to the same network.

Imagine that in our local network, our computer has the private IP 192.168.1.20 . If we
access the address http://192.168.1.20:8080 from a mobile phone, tablet or other
computer connected to the same network as our development computer, we will see our
web application and the changes we make will be shown automatically. Black magic.

To do this we must continue configuring the file Gulpfile.js , we are going to add that
the changes we make in a Stylus .styl file, are shown as CSS in the browser. Stylus
is a CSS preprocessor, which allows you to write the design in a language and then
change it to CSS. In chapter 4 we will look at this topic in more detail. For now, to see a
quick example, we add the following tasks:

var stylus = require('gulp-stylus'),


nib = require('nib');

// Preprocess Stylus files to CSS and reload the changes


gulp.task('css', function() {
gulp.src('./app/stylesheets/main.styl')
.pipe(stylus({ use: nib() }))

.pipe(gulp.dest('./app/stylesheets'))
.pipe(connect.reload());
});

// Reload the browser on HTML changes


gulp.task('html', function() {
gulp.src('./app/**/*.html')
.pipe(connect.reload());
});

// Watch code changes and to run related tasks


gulp.task('watch', function() {
gulp.watch(['./app/**/*.html'], ['html']); ['css']);
gulp.watch(['./app/stylesheets/**/*.styl'],

});

gulp.task('default', ['server', 'watch']);

The task css takes the file app/sytlesheets/main.styl and preprocesses its contents to
CSS in the file app/stylesheets/main.css , using the library nib that automatically adds

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the CSS properties for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Webkit. So we saved having to
write the specific prefixes for each browser.

The task html simply restarts the browser using connect.reload() each time a change
is made in an HTML file.

The task watches the changes that take place in HTML and Stylus files and
watch
launches the html and css tasks respectively.

Finally, we define a default task default that launches the server and watch tasks. To
run the task that includes all of the tasks, in the terminal we write:

$ gulp

All of the tasks will be launched and we will be able to make changes in our code that
will be shown in the browser without needing to reload manually.

Heres a quick example to put all this in place and see how Gulp and its automated tasks
works. We create the test file index.html in the app folder with the following content:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/stylesheets/main.css">
<title>Example</title>
</head>
<body>
Hello World!
</body>
</html>

As you can see, we link to the style file main.css in the folder app/stylesheets . This file
will be generated by Gulp using the .styl files in which we encode our design.

Therefore we create the file main.styl in app/stylesheets with the following content:

body
background-color white;
color black;

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We save and run Gulp. If we go to http://localhost:8080 in a browser window we can


see the following:

Without stopping Gulps process or closing the browser, we return to our main.styl file
and change the following:

body
background-color blue;
color white;

We save and our browser will automatically change to this:

In this way we have configured Gulp to reload the browser automatically according to the
changes we make in the HTML and the CSS, leaving us with a much more agile
workflow that allows us to save a lot of development time.

Finally we will add one last task (for now), whose function is to review the JavaScript
code that we write, in search of errors, style consistency, etc. This is achieved using the

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plugin gulp-jshint with the .jshintrc file that we had written earlier. However
beforehand, we will add this new dependency, which will allow us a better reading of the
errors from the terminal:

$ npm install --save-dev jshint-stylish

Then we add the following task to our Gulpfile.js file:

var jshint = require('gulp-jshint'),


stylish = require('jshint-stylish');

// Search errors on JS code and to show in screen


gulp.task('jshint', function() {
return gulp.src('./app/scripts/**/*.js')
.pipe(jshint('.jshintrc'))
.pipe(jshint.reporter('jshint-stylish'))
.pipe(jshint.reporter('fail'));
});

We also add a new subtask to the watch task to watch the changes we make in the
JavaScript code and so launch the task we just created:

gulp.task('watch', function() {
gulp.watch(['./app/**/*.html'], ['html']); ['css']);
gulp.watch(['./app/stylesheets/**/*.styl'],

});
gulp.watch(['./app/scripts/**/*.js'], ['jshint']);

Our complete Gulpfile.js file, for the moment, will stay like this:

// File: Gulpfile.js
'use strict';

var gulp = require('gulp'),


connect = require('gulp-connect'),
stylus = require('gulp-stylus'),
nib = require('nib'),
jshint = require('gulp-jshint'),
stylish = require('jshint-stylish'),
historyApiFallback = require('connect-history-api-fallback');

gulp.task('server', function() {

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connect. server ({
root: '... /app',
hostname: '0.0.0.0',
port: 8080,
livereload : true,
middleware: function (connect, opt) {
return [ historyApiFallback ];
}
});
});

gulp. task ('jshint', function() {


return gulp. Src (' , /app/scripts/**/*.js")
pipe (jshint (' , jshintro'))
pipe (jshint. reporter ('jshint-stylish'))
pipe (jshint. reporter ('fail'));
});

gulp. task ('css', function() {


gulp. Src (' , /app/stylesheets/main. styl')
. pipe (stylus ( use: nib () }))
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /app/stylesheets"))
. pipe (connect reload ());
});

gulp. task ( 'html", function() {


gulp. Src (' , /app/**/*.html")
. pipe (connect reload ());
});

gulp. task ( 'watch', function() {


gulp. Watch (['. /app/**/*.html" |, [' html" |);
gulp. Watch (['. /app/stylesheets/**/*. styl' ], ['css']);
gulp. Watch (['. /app/scripts/**/*.js', '... /Gulpfile.js' ], ['jshint" |);
});

gulp. task ("default', [' server', 'watch' ]);

To test how JSHint works, we are going to write a small example file in JavaScript with
errors, so that it launches the task. We add the file main.js to the directory
app/scripts .

(function() {
console. log('Hello World!');
})();

If we run Gulp, we will see the following in the terminal:

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$ gulp
[12:32:29] Using gulpfile ~/development/courses/ebook-frontend/project/Gulpfile.js
[12:32:29] LiveReload
Starting
Server started on port 35729
'server'...
started
http://localhost:8080

[12:32:29] Finished 'server' after 25 ms


[12:32:29] Finished 'watch' after 13 ms
Starting 'watch'...

[12:32:29] Finished
Starting 'default' after 5.52 s
'default'...

[12:32:38] Starting 'jshint'...

/Users/carlosazaustre/development/courses/ebook-frontend/project/app/scripts/main.js
line 2 col 3 Missing "use strict" statement.

1 problem

[12:32:38] 'jshint' errored after 69 ms JSHint failed for: /Users/carlosazaustre/development/

We encountered an error, which is that we need to add the line use strict; to the
beginning of the file. That is because we have instructed our .jshintrc file to verify that
the element /js exists in all of our files or the parser will show an error message. This
way, in our team, all of the developers will follow the same style rules.

We add this line to the file main.js :

// File: app/scripts/main.js
'use strict';

(function() {
console.log('Hello World!');
})();

Immediately after saving the file, we see in the terminal that the task has been run
automatically and no longer displays errors:

[12:37:08] Finished
Starting 'jshint' after 26 ms
'jshint'...

Done, we have automated our workflow each time we make a change. In the next
chapter we will look at how to structure JavaScript files and the use of Bower to start to

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add functionality to our application.

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Agile web development with AngularJS

4. Anatomy of an AngularJS Application.

In this chapter we will implement our example web application with Angular.js. To do this
we will need templates and libraries that allow us to do our work. Lets begin.

4.1 HTML5Boilerplate
We are going to use the HTML5 Boilerplate template with all the elements necessary to
begin developing. You can download it from the project website or in their official
repository, or simply copy the following file to your app/index.html since we have
already made some changes according to our project:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="es-ES">
<head>
<meta charset="utf-8">
<meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
<title></title>
<meta name="description" content="">
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
<!-- Place favicon.ico in the root directory -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/stylesheets/main.css">
</head>
<body>
<!--[if lt IE 8]>
<p class="browserupgrade">
You are using an <strong>outdated</strong> browser. Please <a href="http://browsehappy.
</p>
<![endif]-->

<p>Hola Mundo! Esto es HTML5 Boilerplate.</p>

<!-- Google Analytics: change UA-XXXXX-X to be your site's ID. -->


<script>
function(){(b[l].q=b[l].q||[]).push(arguments)});b[l].l=+new Date;
(function(b,o,i,l,e,r){b.GoogleAnalyticsObject=l;b[l]||(b[l]=

e=o.createElement(i);r=o.getElementsByTagName(i)[0];
r.parentNode.insertBefore(e,r)}(window,document,'script','ga'));
e.src='//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js';

ga('create','UA-XXXXX-X','auto');ga('send','pageview');
</script>
</body>
</html>

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This will be the only complete HTML page that we have, since the rest will be templates
that will dynamically load depending on the application status or user interaction. This is
what is currently known as Single Page Applications (SPA).

4.2 Installing Dependencies


We are going to install the front end libraries that we need with the tool Bower. First of
all, we need to create the file .bowerrc in the projects root directory with the following
content:

{
"directory": "app/lib"
}

This ensures that each library we install remains saved in the directory app/lib . If we
didnt have this file, the libraries would be installed in the default directory
bower_components in the root.

We are going to prepare our HTML and implement a new Gulp task that will make life
easier. The task is gulp-inject , which will take the files that we have in the style and
script folders and inject them as links into the HTML.

We add the following comment tags to the HTML where the CSS links and the
JavaScript scripts will go:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
[...]
<!-- bower:css -->
<!-- endbower -->
<!-- inject:css -->
<!-- endinject -->
</head>
<body>
[...]
<!-- bower:js -->
<!-- endbower -->
<!-- inject:js -->
<!-- endinject -->
</body>
</html>

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Lines like the comments <!-- inject:css --> and <!-- inject:js --> will be read by
the Gulp task that we are going to write next that will inject the files. And lines like the
comments <-- bower:css --> and <!-- bower:js --> will inject the libraries that we
install with Bower. It will put them in one place or another in the HTML depending on
whether they are style (css) or script (js) files. To implement the task, we must first install
the required plugins:

$ npm install --save-dev gulp-inject


$ npm install --save-dev wiredep

Then we can insert the following tasks in Gulpfile.js and update watch and default :

var inject = require('gulp-inject');


var wiredep = require('wiredep').stream;

// Inject into HTML the path of JS scripts and CSS files


gulp.task('inject', function() {
var sources = gulp.src([ './app/scripts/**/*.js', './app/stylesheets/**/*.css' ]);
return gulp.src('index.html', { cwd: './app' })
.pipe(inject(sources, {
read: false,
ignorePath: '/app'
}))
.pipe(gulp.dest('./app'));
});
// Inject the path of Bower dependencies into HTML
gulp.task('wiredep', function () {
gulp.src('./app/index.html')
.pipe(wiredep({
directory: './app/lib'

}))
.pipe(gulp.dest('./app'));
});

gulp.task('watch', function() {
[...]
gulp.watch(['./app/stylesheets/**/*.styl'],
gulp.watch(['./app/scripts/**/*.js',
gulp.watch(['./bower.json'], ['wiredep']);
'./Gulpfile.js'],
['css', 'inject']);
['jshint', 'inject']);

});

gulp.task('default', ['server', 'inject', 'wiredep', 'watch']);

With Gulp running in one terminal window, we can install the dependencies with Bower

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from another, for example, starting with those of Angular and the Bootstrap CSS
framework:

$ bower install --save angular


$ bower install --save bootstrap

If we open index.html we can see that Gulp has automatically injected the AngularJS
library and the files main.css and main.js that we had as styles and the Bootstrap
scripts have also been injected:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
[...]
<!-- bower:css -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.css" />
<!-- endbower -->
<!-- inject:css -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="/stylesheets/main.css">
<!-- endinject -->
</head>
<body>
[...]
<!-- bower:js -->
<script src="lib/jquery/dist/jquery.js"></script>
<script src="lib/bootstrap/dist/js/bootstrap.js"></script>
src="lib/angular/angular.js"></script>

<!-- endbower -->


<!-- inject:js -->
<script src="/scripts/main.js"></script>
<!-- endinject -->
</body>
</html>

If for any reason we dont need to use one of the libraries that we have installed, we can
delete them with uninstall as in the following example:

$ bower uninstall --save angular

4.3 Application Modules


All of the files that contain the functionality of our application are in the directory

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app/scripts .

In Angular, it is ideal to create modules for each functionality that we have in the
application. If the application isnt very large, as in the case of the example in this book,
we can gather related functionalities in the same file and only separate controllers,
services, directives, etc... This way we have a scalable and maintainable application.

The project that we are going to complete for this example will be a blog, with posts and
comments.

It is ideal for us to receive the data from a RESTful API that returns the data in JSON
format. The development of the back end is beyond the scope of this book, which is why
we are going to use the JSONPlaceholder project, which provides a test API for testing
and prototyping that returns JSONs of blog posts and comments.

The URLs of the API that we are going to use are:

URL Method

/posts POST

/posts GET

/posts/:postId GET

/comments GET

/comments/:commentId GET

/users GET

/users/:userId GET

The following examples are API Requests and responses from JSONPlaceholder

GET/posts/1:

{
"userId": 1,
"id": 1,
"title": "sunt aut facere repellat provident occaecati excepturi optio reprehenderit"
"body": "quia et suscipit\nsuscipit recusandae consequuntur expedita et cum\nreprehenderit
}

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GET /comments/1:

{
"postId": 1,
"id": 1,
"name": "id labore ex et quam laborum",
"email":"laudantium
"body": "Eliseo@gardner.biz",
enim quasi est quidem magnam voluptate ipsam eos\ntempora quo necessita

GET /users/1:

{
"id": 1,
"name": "Leanne Graham",
"username": "Bret",
"email": "Sincere@april.biz",
"address": {
"street": "Kulas Light",
"suite": "Apt. 556",
"city": "Gwenborough",
"zipcode": "92998-3874",
"geo": {
"lat": "-37.3159",
"lng": "81.1496"
}
},
"phone": "1-770-736-8031 x56442",
"website": {
"company": "hildegard.org",

"name": "Romaguera-Crona",
"catchPhrase": "Multi-layered client-server neural-net",
"bs": "harness real-time e-markets"
}
}

4.3.1 Architecture
The file structure that we are going to use in the directory app will be the following:

app/
lib/
scripts/
| services.js
| controllers.js

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| app.js
stylesheets/
views/
|
post-create.tpl.html
post-detail.tpl.html
post-list.tpl.html

|
index.html

Note: The ideal, for an Angular application to be more modular, is to separate the
functionalities by folders, and that each functionality has its services, controllers,
routes, etc... separated from the rest. It would be something like this:

app/
lib/
modules/
| users/
| | module.js
| | controllers.js
| | services.js
| posts/
| | module.js
| | controllers.js
| | services.js
| | views/
| | post-create.tpl.html
post-detail.tpl.html
post-list.tpl.html

| comments
| module.js
| controllers.js
| services.js
stylesheets/
|
index.html

Including separating the styles by functionality. But this is beyond the scope of this
book, since the functionality that we are going to carry out for the example is very
simple and can be written with the previous architecture.

We are going to install the following libraries that we will need, which well do like always
with Bower, with the flag --save-dev so that they remain saved in the bower.json file
and Gulp can run the appropriate task.

$ bower install --save angular-route

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$ bower install --save angular-resource

angular-route allows us to make use of the directive $routeProvider in order to


manage URLs from the browser and display one page or another to the user.

meanwhile, allows us to use the directive $resource which allows


angular-resource
us to manage AJAX requests to REST resources in a simpler way and with cleaner
syntax, instead of using the directives $http.get or $http.post .

To tell the HTML that we are using an Angular application, we have to put the attribute
ng-app in part of our ; in this case we will put it in the
index.html body tag so that it
includes the entire page. We will call this application blog:

index.html

<body ng-app="blog">
<div
<div
class="container-fluid">
class="row">

<aside
<a ng-href="/new">Write
class="col-sm-3"> Post</a>

</aside>
<section class="col-sm-9" ng-view></section>
</div>
</div>
</body>

In the above example, in addition to the attribute ng-app="blog we have added some
layout using Bootstrap classes, such as col-sm-3 and
, which allow us to have
col-sm-9

2 columns on the page, one of 3/12 size that can be used for information on the author
of the blog, and another of 9/12 size for the content and the list of blog posts.

This last column in turn contains the attribute that tells the Angular blog
ng-view
application that it will load the partial views in that space, which we will manage thanks
to the routing of $routeProvider later on.

4.3.2 Main
We begin with the first of the JS scripts that will give the application functionality, in this
case the main file app/scripts/app.js .

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In all of the JS files, in addition to using the notation "use strict"; we are going to
group them by Angular modules and in turn as closures. This will help us so that the
variables we use in that function only remain defined within it, and so that errors dont
appear when it is minified. The file would start like this:

(function () {
'use strict';
// Functionality goes here.
})();

Next we configure the blog module with the dependency ngRoute which we get by
adding the library angular-route .

(function () {
'use strict';

angular.module('blog', ['ngRoute']);

})();

We are going to create a configuration function to tell the application which routes to
listen for in the browser and which partial views to load in each case. We do this with the
directive $routeProvider .

function config ($locationProvider, $routeProvider) {


$locationProvider.html5Mode(true);

$routeProvider
.when('/', {
templateUrl:'PostListController',
controller: 'views/post-list.tpl.html',

controllerAs: 'postlist'
})
.when('/post/:postId', {
templateUrl:'PostDetailController',
controller: 'views/post-detail.tpl.html',

controllerAs: 'postdetail'
})
.when('/new', {
templateUrl:'PostCreateController',
controller: 'views/post-create.tpl.html',

controllerAs: 'postcreate'
});
}

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The line $locationProvider.html5Mode(true) is important, since it allows URLs not to


have the character # at the beginning of them, which Angular uses by default. This
keeps them cleaner.

Important In order for the HTML5 mode to function correctly, you must add the
tag base in your index.html document, within the headers <head> like this:

<head>
<base href="/">
...
</head>

You can find more information in this link

We have added three routes, the root or main /route, one that details a blog post
post/:postId and one with the form for publishing a new post. Each one of these loads
a partial view that we will create in a few moments and will be stored in the app/views
folder. Each view also has an associated controller that will manage the associated
functionality.

These will be , to manage the list of posts and PostDetailController


PostListController
to manage a specific post and PostCreateController . We will declare each of them in a
separate file and module, blog.controllers , so in order to make use of them in this file,
we must include it as a dependency when declaring the module, as we did with
ngRoute .

The attribute allows us to use controller variables within the HTML


controllerAs

template without needing to use the directive $scope .

(function () {
'use strict';

angular.module('blog', ['ngRoute', 'blog.controllers']);


[...]
})

To finish with this file, we just need to associate the config function we created with the
module:

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angular
.module('blog')
.config(config);

The finished app/scripts/app.js file would be as follows:

(function () {
'use strict';

angular.module('blog', ['ngRoute', 'blog.controllers']);

function config ($locationProvider, $routeProvider) {


$locationProvider.html5Mode(true);

$routeProvider
.when('/', {
templateUrl:'PostListController',
controller: 'views/post-list.tpl.html',

controllerAs: 'postlist'
})
.when('/post/:postId', {
templateUrl:'PostDetailController',
controller: 'views/post-detail.tpl.html',

controllerAs: 'postdetail'
})
.when('/new', {
templateUrl:'PostCreateController',
controller: 'views/post-create.tpl.html',

controllerAs: 'postcreate'
});
}

angular
.config(config);
.module('blog')

})();

4.3.3 Services

Before implementing the controller functions, we are going to create some services with
the directive $resource that will allow us to make AJAX calls to the API in a simpler way.
We will create three factories (thats what theyre called), one for the Posts, another for
the Comments and another for the Users. Each one of these will be associated with a
REST API URL.

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As in the previous file, we begin by creating a closure, and the name of the module
( ) to which we include the dependency ngResource contained in the
blog.services

library angular-resource that allows us to use the directive $resource :

(function () {
'use strict';

angular.module('blog.services', ['ngResource']);

})();

We then create 3 functions, one for each factory that will point to a URL. The server
base URL we will use as a constant.

function Post ($resource, BaseUrl) {


return $resource(BaseUrl + '/posts/:postId', { postId: '@_id' });
}

function Comment ($resource, BaseUrl) {


return $resource(BaseUrl + '/comments/:commentId', { commentId: '@_id' });
}

function User ($resource, BaseUrl) {


return $resource(BaseUrl + '/users/:userId', { userId: '@_id' });
}

We associate these factories with the created module, and also create a constant
BaseUrl that points to the URL of the API:

angular
.module('blog.services')
.constant('BaseUrl',
.factory('Post', Post)
'http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com')

.factory('Comment', Comment)
.factory('User', User);

The finished app/scripts/services.js file would be:

(function () {
'use strict';

angular.module('blog.services', ['ngResource']);

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function Post ($resource, BaseUrl) {


return
{ postId:
$resource(BaseUrl
'@_id' }); + '/posts/:postId',

function Comment ($resource, BaseUrl) {


return $resource(BaseUrl + '/comments/:commentId',
{ commentId: '@_id' });
}

function User ($resource, BaseUrl) {


return
{ userId:
$resource(BaseUrl
'@_id' }); + '/users/:userId',

angular
.module('blog.services')
.constant('BaseUrl',
.factory('Post', Post)
'http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com')

.factory('Comment', Comment)
.factory('User', User);

})();

4.3.4 Controllers
Having already created the services, we can move on to implementing the partial view
controllers and therefore the application. As always, we create an Angular module, in
this case blog.controllers , with the dependency blog.services and we include it
within a closure:

(function () {
'use strict';

angular.module('blog.controllers', ['blog.services']);

})();

The first controller, PostListController , is the simplest of all, the function would be like
this:

function PostListController (Post) {


this.posts = Post.query();
}

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Agile web development with AngularJS

What we are doing here is an AJAX call to the URL


http://jsonplaceholder.typicode.com/posts and that returns the result within the variable

posts . This is achieved using the service Post .

Now we turn to the detail view controller, . If we only want to see


PostDetailController
the contents of a specific post and its comments, we use the ID of the post that we want
to show, which will provide the browser route via $routeParams the function would be
like this:

function PostDetailController ($routeParams, Post, Comment) {


this.post = Post.query({ id: $routeParams.postId });
this.comments = Comment.query({ postId: $routeParams.postId });
}

But, if we want to see the information of the user that wrote the post, how do we do it?
The first thing you think of is something like this:

function PostDetailController ($routeParams, Post, Comment, User) {


this.post = Post.query({ id: $routeParams.postId });
this.comments = Comment.query({ postId: $routeParams.postId });
this.user = User.query({ id: this.post.userId });
}

But our friend JavaScript isnt sequential, its asynchronous, and when we run the 3rd
line, this.post still contains nothing and shows us an error message, because at that
time this.post.userId is undefined . How do we fix it? Using the directive $promise

and in a callback function:

function PostDetailController ($routeParams, Post, Comment) {


this.post = {};
this.comments = {};
this.user = {}

var self = this; // To save the reference

Post.query({ id: $routeParams.postId })


.$promise.then(
//Success
function (data) {
self.post = User.query({
self.user data[0]; id: self.user.userId });

},

Anatomy of an AngularJS Application 41


Agile web development with AngularJS

//Error
function (error) {
} console.log(error);

);

this.comments = Comment.query({ postId: $routeParams.postId });


}

This way, only when we have data relating to the post, can we access it to make more
queries, as in this case, for the data of a user related to the post.

The next controller is for creating a new post:

function PostCreateController (Post) {


var self = this;

this.create = function() {
Post.save(self.post);
};
}

The finished file would be like this:

(function() {

angular
.module('blog.controllers', ['blog.services'])
.controller('PostListController', PostListController)

.controller('PostCreateController', PostCreateController)
.controller('PostDetailController', PostDetailController)

function PostListController (Post) {


this.posts = Post.query();
};

function PostCreateController (Post) {


var self = this;

this.create = function() {
Post.save(self.post);
};
};

function PostDetailController ($routeParams, Post, Comment) {


this.post = {};
this.comments = {};
this.user = {}

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var self = this;

Post.query({ id: $routeParams.postId })


.$promise.then(
//Success

function (data) {
self.post = User.query({
self.user data[0]; id: self.user.userId });

},
//Error
function (error) {
console.log(error);
}
);

this.comments = Comment.query({ postId: $routeParams.postId });


};

})();

Thanks to the resource Post we can use the method save() which is responsible for
making a POST request to the API that we are managing. Since the API we are using is
fake the POST will not be stored, but in a real API that would occur.

We add the created functions to the module and then we can use the
blog.controllers

variables this.posts , this.post , this.comments and this.user in our partial views, as


well as collect the data that is sent in the form for creating posts. Next we will create the
partial views or templates.

4.3.5 Partial views

views/post-list.tpl.html

This will be the view that shows the list of posts that the API returns to us. It is managed
by the controller PostListController , which if we recall, contained the variable
this.posts where they are all stored. To access that variable from the HTML we only
need to indicate the alias that we gave the controller in the config function of
app/scripts/app.js that was postlist , and then using point notation access the
attribute posts with postlist.posts .

Since it is an array of elements, we can iterate over them using the Angular directive ng

repeat in the following manner:

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Agile web development with AngularJS

<ul class="blog-post-list">
<aclass="blog-post-link"
<li ng-href="/post/{{ post.id
ng-repeat="post
}}">{{ post.title
in postlist.posts">
}}</a>

</li>
</ul>

The previous code runs through the array of posts, and for each one of them, creates an
<li> element in the HTML, with a link that points to the post id with post.id and the
title of the post with post.title .

If we access http://localhost:8080 in a browser we will see a list of titles, all returned


via the API that provides us http://jsonplaceholder.com/posts

We have also added classes to the HTML tags in order to use them later in the CSS files
to add style to them.

views/post-detail.tpl.html

Now we are going to create the detail view of a specific post, where we will use the
variables post , comments and user that are used by the controller
PostDetailController via the alias postdetail .

First we design the element <article> where we will place the contents of the post and
the user who wrote it, which are stored in the variables postdetail.post and
postdetail.user :

<article class="blog-post">
<header class="blog-post-header">
<h1>{{ postdetail.post.title }}</h1>
</header>
<p class="blog-post-body">
{{ postdetail.post.body }}
</p>
<p>
Escrito por: <strong>{{ postdetail.user[0].name }}</strong>
<span class="fa fa-mail"></span> {{ postdetail.user[0].email }}
</p>
</article>

Then we add the element <aside> where the list of associated comments will be, stored
in the variable postdetail.comments . Since it is an array of elements, we can use the

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Agile web development with AngularJS

directive ng-repeat as we did in the list of posts, to display them in the view:

<aside class="comments">
<header
<h3> class="comments-header">

<span class="fa fa-comments"></span>


Comments
</h3>
</header>
<ul
<li
class="comments-list">
<span
class="comment-item"
class="fa fa-user"></span>
ng-repeat="comment in postdetail.comments">

<span class="comment-author">{{ comment.email }}</span>


<p class="comment-body">
{{ comment.body }}
</p>
</li>
</ul>
</aside>

views/post-create.tpl.html

This will be the view that we see when we click the link Create Post ; it is simply a form
with the necessary fields to enter the title of the post and its contents:

<section>
<form name="createPost" role="form" ng-submit="postcreate.create()">

<fieldset class="form-group">
<input class="form-control input-lg"
type="text"
placeholder="Post title"
<fieldsetng-model="postcreate.post.title">
</fieldset>
class="form-group">

<textarea class="form-control input-lg"


placeholder="Post text"
<hr>
</fieldset> ng-model="postcreate.post.text"></textarea>

<button class="btn btn-primary btn-lg"


<span class="fa
type="submit"
fa-rocket">
ng-disabled="!createPost.$valid">
Publish</span>

</button>

</form>
</section>

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The classes used are part of the Bootstrap CSS Framework which we use to add style to
the example.

If we look closely, both the input and the textarea have the attribute This
ng-model.
will allow Angular, via the controller that we previously defined for this form, to collect
this data and for us to send it to the API. They will be included within the object
this.post .

Another important thing we have done is disable the Publish button until the form is
completed. We achieve this with the attribute ng-disabled="!createPost.$valid" with
createPost as the name we have given the form.

The processing of this form is done using the this.create() function of the
PostCreateController that we call from the attribute ng-submit .

This completes the layout and functionality of this example application with AngularJS,
using factories as a model to obtain the data from an external API. Now its time to add
some drops of CSS style (using Stylus) to finish off our app.

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5. Design with CSS Preprocessors

Although you can design a site from scratch with CSS, for this example we have started
from one of the best known frameworks, Bootstrap which as its name suggests, is for
starting quickly, having a grid layout (columns) and some predefined elements with a
pleasant style.

Aside from using Bootstrap, you can add style to elements of your website with CSS, or
use a preprocessor such as LESS, Sass or Stylus which make design easier, using
variables, functions, etc. In our case we are going to use Stylus, which uses a syntax
very similar to Python, based on tabs; it does not use keys {...}, or : , or ; .

Stylus works with Node.js. To make it run we must globally install it on our computer with
npm :

$ npm install -g stylus

We are going to save the .styl files in , and the Gulp task that we
app/stylesheets

configured in chapter 2 will compile them directly to CSS and we will see the changes
reflected in the browser in real-time.

5.1 FontAwesome

Font Awesome is a CSS library of font icons, ideal for use in all kinds of resolutions,
since the font files are vectors and dont pixelate. To use it in our application we can
install it via Bower.

$ bower install --save fontawesome

And from now on when we want to use an icon in our HTML we only need to add the
following class to a <span> element.

<span class="fa fa-iconName"></span>

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For this example we have used several in the template app/views/post-detail.tpl.html

such as:

<span class="fa fa-mail"></span> {{ postdetail.user[0].email }}

to display an icon of an envelope that represents email, or:

<span class="fa fa-comments"></span>

to display speech bubbles to represent comments, or finally:

<span class="fa fa-user"></span>

to represent a user icon.

There is a complete list of all the icons that you can use in their documentation

which is very comprehensive and easy to use.

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5.2 Typographic Fonts


The browser includes a series of fonts by default, but we can use others just by including
them in the CSS, such as Google Web Fonts. In my case I chose the Raleway typeface
to use in this example.

To do this we create a fonts.styl file where we add the following code:

@font-face
font-familynormal
font-style 'Raleway-Light'

font-weight 300
src local('Raleway Light'), local('Raleway-Light'), url('//themes.googleusercontent.com/sta

@font-face
font-family 'Raleway'
font-style normal
font-weight 400
src local('Raleway'), url('//themes.googleusercontent.com/static/fonts/raleway/v7/cIFypx4yr

5.3 Application Styles

In order to link this file with the main file we use . We add it in main.styl which
@import
is the file we use to tell to Gulp to process and generate the css files. To use it, we
assign it the to the attribute font-family of the body, like this:

@import 'fonts'
body
font-family 'Raleway-Light'
font-size 16px

Now our application will have a different font style. We are going to edit the style of the
lists of posts a bit:

.blog-post-list
list-style-type none

.blog-post-link
font-family 'Raleway'
margin .5em 0 1em 0
padding 0 0 .25em 0

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border-bottom 1px solid b_silver

And now the title of the post in the detail view:

.blog-post
.blog-post-header
h1
font-family 'Raleway'

And the comments:

.comments

.comments-list
list-style-type none

.comment-item
border 1px solid b_silver
border-radius 5px
padding .5em
margin .5em

.comment-author
font-family 'Raleway'

font-weight bold

.comment-body
font-style italic

If we look closely, we indicated that the border color of the comment box be b_silver ,
and that color doesnt exist in standard HTML/CSS. We are going to add it as a variable
in Stylus so that we can reuse it later if we want:

b_silver = #ddd

The finished main.styl file would be like this:

@import 'fonts'

b_silver = #ddd

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body
font-family 'Raleway-Light'
font-size 16px

.blog-post-list
list-style-type none

.blog-post-link
font-family 'Raleway'
margin .5em 0 1em 0
padding 0 0 .25em 0
border-bottom 1px solid b_silver

.blog-post

.blog-post-header
h1
font-family 'Raleway'

.comments

.comments-list
list-style-type none

.comment-item
border 1px solid b_silver
border-radius 5px
padding .5em
margin .5em

.comment-author
font-family 'Raleway'
font-weight bold

.comment-body
font-style italic

And this is what our app would look like, if we run Gulp in the terminal and open the
browser to the URL http://localhost:8080 :

Post List

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Post Detail

Design with CSS Preprocessors 52


Agile web development with AngularJS

Create a new post

Design with CSS Preprocessors 53


Agile web development with AngularJS

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6. Optimizing for Production

We already have our application running, but it has several CSS files with parts of
Bootstrap that we may never use. Too many JavaScript files, which involve multiple
requests to the server and make our page take longer to load:

[...]
<link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/angular-motion/dist/angular-motion.min.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/fontawesome/css/font-awesome.css" />
[...]
<script src="lib/jquery/dist/jquery.js"></script>
<script src="lib/angular/angular.js"></script>
<script src="lib/bootstrap/dist/js/bootstrap.js"></script>
<script src="lib/angular-animate/angular-animate.js"></script>
<script src="lib/angular-route/angular-route.js"></script>
src="lib/angular-strap/dist/angular-strap.min.js"></script>
src="lib/angular-strap/dist/angular-strap.tpl.min.js"></script>

<script src="lib/angular-resource/angular-resource.js"></script>
<script src="/scripts/templates.js"></script>
<script src="/scripts/services.js"></script>
<script src="/scripts/controllers.js"></script>
<script src="/scripts/app.js"></script>
[...]

Ideally, our HTML would only have one CSS file to call, and just one JS file. We should
concatenate them into a single file and if possible minify them (removing blank spaces
and leaving all the content on one line), so that the file weighs less and loads faster.

Doing it by hand is a rather tedious and unproductive task, which is why we have task
automators like Gulp to do it for us.

We are going to install some Gulp plugins that will help us with these tasks, which we do
via npm :

$ npm install --save-dev gulp-angular-templatecache


gulp-minify-css

$ npm install --save-dev gulp-uncss


$ npm install --save-dev gulp-if

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Next we will look at what each plugin does and which of the tasks within Gulpfile.js we
are going to implement them in.

6.1 Template Caching


The first task that we are going to implement is the caching of HTML templates, as a
module of AngularJS, thanks to the plugin gulp-angular-templatecache, by adding the
following to our Gulpfile.js :

var templateCache = require('gulp-angular-templatecache');

gulp.task('templates', function() {
gulp.src('./app/views/**/*.tpl.html')
.pipe(templateCache({
root: 'views/',

module: 'blog.templates',
standalone: true
}))
.pipe(gulp.dest('./app/scripts'));
});

This task creates a templates.js file in the directory app/scripts/ with the content of
the HTML templates cached as String to use it as a dependency in the application.

To do this we need to include the new module created in the main file,
app/scripts/app.js , which is the one that uses the views:

angular.module('blog', ['ngRoute', 'blog.controllers', 'blog.templates']);

With this we havent minified anything, we have just created a new JavaScript file that
contains the HTML templates, so we saved more calls.

6.2 Concatenation of JS and CSS Files

Now we begin to concatenate and minify. We are going to do it directly in the HTML and
with a Gulp task. We take our index.html and we will add the following comments: <!--

build:css css/style.min.css --> between the links to the CSS files to concatenate and
minify them, and <!-- build:js js/app.min.js --> and <!-- build:js js/vendor.min.js -

-> to do the same but with the JS files.

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[. . .]
<!-- build: css css/style, min.css -->
<!-- bower: css -->

<link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.css" />


<link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/angular-motion/dist/angular-motion, min.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="lib/fontawesome/css/font-awesome.css" />
<!-- endbower -->

<!-- inject: css -->


<link rel="stylesheet" href="/stylesheets/main.css">
<!-- endinject -->
<!-- endbuild -->

[. . .]
<!-- build: js js/vendor, min.js -->
<!-- bower:js -->
<script src="lib/jquery/dist/jquery.js"></script=
<script src="lib/angular/angular.js"></script=
<script src="lib/bootstrap/dist/js/bootstrap.js"></script=
<script src="lib/angular-animate/angular-animate.js"></script=
<script src="lib/angular-strap/dist/angular-strap. min.js"></script=
<script src="lib/angular-strap/dist/angular-strap. tpl. min.js"></script=
<script src="lib/angular-route/angular-route.js"></script=
<script src="lib/angular-resource/angular-resource.js"></script=
<!-- endbower -->
<!-- endbuild -->

<!-- build: js js/app. min.js -->


<!-- inject: js -->
<script src="/scripts/templates.js"></script=
<script src="/scripts/services.js"></script=
<script src="/scripts/controllers.js"></script=
<script src="/scripts/app.js"></script=
<!-- endinject -->
<!-- endbuild -->

[. . .]

We accompany this with the following task in Gulpfile.js :

Var gulpif = require ('gulp-if");


Var minifyCss = require ('gulp-minifycss');
Var use ref = require ('gulp-useref');
Var uglify = require ('gulp - uglify');

gulp. task ('compress', function() {


g ulp. Src (' , /app/index.html")
pipe (useref. assets ())
pipe (gulpif ( ' " . js', uglify ({ mangle : false })))
pipe (gulpif ( ' ' , css', minifyCss ()))
pipe (gulp. dest (' , /dist'));
3 );

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This task will deposit linked files from index.html in the new directory for production that
will be /dist , already minified.

We need index.html in this directory too, but without the comments and with the links to
the new minified files. This is achieved with the following task:

gulp.task('copy', function() {
gulp.src('./app/index.html')
.pipe(gulp.dest('./dist'));
.pipe(useref())

gulp.src('./app/lib/fontawesome/fonts/**')
.pipe(gulp.dest('./dist/fonts'));

});

In addition, this task copies the font files that we use in the library fontawesome .

Now we include all of these tasks within a new task that well call build and that we will
run whenever we want to have our code ready for production:

gulp.task('build', ['templates', 'compress', 'copy']);

In the directory /dist we have the following files with this structure:

/dist
/js
| app.min.js
vendor.min.js

/css
| styles.min.css
index.html

The files within the folders /js and /css being minified files, so that they occupy as
little space as possible.

6.3 Production File Server

To test that everything is fine, we are going to create a new task in Gulp that will allow us
to serve the files in the directory /dist like we did with the development version:

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Agile web development with AngularJS

gulp.task('server-dist', function() {
connect.server({
root: './dist',

hostname: '0.0.0.0',
port: 8080,
livereload: true,
middleware: function(connect, opt) {
return [ historyApiFallback ];
}
});
});

So, to test our application in production version before uploading it to a server, we must
run the following in our terminal:

$ gulp build
$ gulp server-dist

And direct our browser to the URL http://localhost:8080 . Here we see the same
application running itself, but in this case index.html only has a link to one .css file
and a couple of links to .jsfiles, which are the library file and the application file. With
them all minified, therefore reducing the number of HTTP requests and having less
weight, their load time is shorter.

6.4 Reducing CSS Code


If we look closely at the browsers development tools, specifically the Network tab, we
can see the requests that our application makes to the files that it links. We realize that
the styles.min.css file occupies 146 kB.

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It isnt a lot, but then we consider that this file contains all of the Bootstrap classes and
all of the Font Awesome classes and were not using all of them. Is there a way to
eliminate the classes that we dont use? Yes there is, with a Gulp plugin called gulp

uncss . This allows us to indicate which CSS file we want to edit and the HTML files that
it should focus on in order to remove the unused CSS, and then our very reduced CSS
is ready. We install the plugin:

$ npm install --save-dev gulp-uncss

And implement the task:

var uncss = require('gulp-uncss');

gulp.task('uncss', function() {
gulp.src('./dist/css/style.min.css')
.pipe(uncss({
html: ['./app/index.html',

'./app/views/post-detail.tpl.html', './app/views/post-list.t
}))
.pipe(gulp.dest('./dist/css'));
});

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gulp.task('build', ['templates', 'compress', 'copy', 'uncss']);

We run gulp-build and gulp server-dist , and when we look at the Network tab we
have the following:

Now styles.min.css only occupies 13.5 kB which allows it to load much faster.

5.5 Complete Gulpfile


Finally, this would be the complete code of the file Gulpfile.js :

// File: Gulpfile.js
'use strict';

var gulp = require('gulp'),


connect = require('gulp-connect'),
stylus = require('gulp-stylus'),
nib = require('nib'),
jshint = require('gulp-jshint'),
stylish = require('jshint-stylish'),
inject = require('gulp-inject'),
wiredep = require('wiredep').stream,
gulpif = require('gulp-if'),

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minifyCss = require ('gulp-minifycss'),


use ref = require ('gulp-useref'),
uglify = require ('gulp - uglify"),
U in CSS = require ('gulp-uncss'),
angular Filesort = require ('gulp-angular-filesort'),
templateCache = require ('gulp-angular-templatecache'),
historyApiFallback = require ('connect-history-api-fallback');

gulp. task ('server', function() {


connect. server ({
root: '... /app',
hostname: '0.0.0.0',
port: 8080,
livereload : true,
middleware: function (connect, opt) {
return [ historyApiFallback ];
}
});
});

gulp. task ('server-dist', function() {


connect. server ({
root: '... /dist',
hostname: ' 0.0.0.0',
port: 8080,
livereload : true,
middleware: function (connect, opt) {
return [ historyApiFallback ];
}
});
});

gulp. task ('jshint', function() {


return gulp. Src (' , /app/scripts/**/*.js")
pipe (jshint (' , jshintro '))
pipe (jshint. reporter ('jshint-stylish'))
pipe (jshint. reporter ('fail'));
});

gulp. task ('css', function() {


gulp. Src (' , /app/stylesheets/main. styl')
. pipe (stylus ( use: nib () }))
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /app/stylesheets"))
. pipe (connect reload ());
});

gulp. task ('html", function() {


gulp. Src (' , /app/**/*.html")
. pipe ()
. pipe (connect reload ());
});

gulp. task ( 'inject', function() {


return gulp. Src ('index.html", {cwd: '... /app'])
. pipe (inject (
gulp. Src (['. /app/scripts/** /* js']). pipe (angular Filesort ()), {

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Agile web development with AngularJS

read: false,
ignorePath: "Zapp'
}))
pipe (inject (
gulp. Src (['. /app/stylesheets/**/*.css']), {
read: false,
ignorePath: "Zapp'
}
))
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /app'));
});

gulp. task ( 'wiredep', function () {


gulp. Src (' , /app/index.html")
. pipe (wiredep ( {
directory: '... /app/lib'
}))
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /app'));
});

gulp. task ( 'templates', function() {


gulp. Src (' , /app/views/**/* tp.l. html")
. pipe (templateCache (
root: 'views/',
module: 'blog. templates',
Standalone : true

}))
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /app/scripts"));
});

gulp. task ('compress', function() {


gulp. Src (' , /app/index.html")
pipe (useref. assets ())
. pipe (gulpif ( ' " . js', uglify ({mangle: false })))
. pipe (gulpif ( ' ' , css', minifyCss ()))
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /dist'));
});

gulp. task ('uncss', function() {


gulp. Src (' , /dist/css/style. min.css')
. pipe (uncss (
html: ['. /app/index.html", " . /app/views/post-list, tpl. html", " . /app/views/post.
}))
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /dist/css'));
});

gulp. task ('copy", function() {


gulp. Src (' , /app/index.html")
pipe (useref ())
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /dist'));
gulp. Src (' , /app/lib/fontawesome/fonts/**")
. pipe (gulp. dest (' , /dist/fonts'));
});

gulp. task ( 'watch', function() {


gulp. Watch (['. /app/**/*.html" |, [' html', 'templates']);

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gulp.watch(['./app/stylesheets/**/*.styl'], ['css', 'inject']);


gulp.watch(['./app/scripts/**/*.js',
gulp.watch(['./bower.json'], ['wiredep']);
'./Gulpfile.js'], ['jshint', 'inject']);

});

gulp.task('default',
gulp.task('build', ['templates',
['server', 'templates',
'compress', 'inject',
'copy', 'uncss']);
'wiredep', 'watch']);

As you have seen throughout the development of this example web application, we have
programmed in an agile way without having to constantly reload the browser in order to
see the changes and forgetting to do repetitive tasks by leaving that work to Gulp. We
have also used a CSS preprocessor that if our web project had been larger, would have
helped us to maintain the design in a modular, maintainable and scalable way. Just like
Angular.js, the Model-View-Controller framework for the front end that we have used.
Angular is much more and its learning curve has many ups and downs, but I think that
what weve seen in this example is useful to start developing more complex applications
in a scalable way.

I invite you to continue investigating and using Angular in your projects. Every day you
will discover a new way to use it. That is what makes it so powerful.

I hope that this book has been useful to you and that you have learned something new.
You can contact me on social networks and let me know your thoughts, any feedback is
welcomed and appreciated:

Share your opinion on Twitter at #ebookAngular hashtag :)

twitter.com/carlosazaustre
github.com/carlosazaustre
linkedin.com/in/carlosazaustre
facebook.com/carlosazaustre.web
google.com/+CarlosAzaustre

Until the next book!

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